ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call: winning proposals from Ecuador and Comoros start their innovation journey

Winning entries of the 2nd and 3rd Skills Challenge Innovation Calls were successfully launched in Ecuador and Comoros, with winning teams, partners and their networks expressing their commitment to support e-formality through skills development in Latin America and the Caribbean and around the prevention of forced labour through skills and lifelong learning in Africa.

Noticia | 5 de abril de 2022


In Ecuador, the first prize of the 2nd Innovation Call was won by the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries (CIG) of Ecuador in partnership with Cognitiva for a project called “Encadenamientos productivos digitales” (Digital production linkages).

The initiative consists of the development of a virtual platform - including a mobile app and a web app - to support Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) in managing their inventory, improving the quality of their products and services and achieving supply chain traceability. It also uses real-time industry analytics to integrate suppliers from vulnerable segments within industry clusters and larger companies to generate more sustainable business relationships and shared value.

The project was launched on January 26th during an official event attended by Lorena Konanz, Vice Minister of Export and Investment Promotion (ProEcuador), Francisco Jarrin and Luis Alberto Salvador, President and Vice President of the CIG, Elva López, Specialist in Inclusive Labor Market Institutions at the ILO and Paúl Rivera, CEO of the partnering company “Cognitiva”.

The project includes technology, but does not exclude the involvement and development of small and medium-sized enterprises. It seeks to catalyse and generate employment, and facilitate formalization of both individuals and small economic units. The initiative brings together social, financial and productive inclusion to help competitiveness."

Paúl Rivera, CEO of Cognitiva
The jury chose this proposal for "its innovative component and its ability to act in different dimensions of informality, its strategic use of technology and the creation of a key network of alliances" for the recovery of the economy in the pandemic, said Elva López.


The third ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call on preventing forced labour in Africa through skills and lifelong learning has been won by Kazana Innovation, an initiative of the Youth Entrepreneurship Network of Comoros (“Réseau des Jeunes entrepreneurs”). The winning initiative will provide skills training to help develop small and medium enterprises in the blue and green economies for women and young people vulnerable to forced labour, giving them the chance to feel empowered by taking charge of themselves, supporting their family needs, working in peace and contributing sustainably to the Comorian economy.

On February 24th, the Comoros Employment Bureau, with the support of the ILO, organized an event to officially launch the initiative. The event that was attended by Mr Takiddine Youssof, Minister of Youth, Employment, Labor, Sports, Arts and Culture of the Union of Comoros, and Mr Coffi Agossou, Director of the ILO Country Office for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Our youth deserve a better life. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the initiators of this project, as well as the ILO and the Youth Entrepreneurship Network. Stand out by creating your own business, and thus have a decent job, is part of the Head of State's vision."

Takiddine Youssof, Minister of Youth, Employment, Labor, Sports, Arts and Culture of the Union of Comoros.

I take this opportunity to invite the women who are beneficiaries of this project to seize this opportunity to change their lives."

Coffi Agossou, Director of the ILO Country Office for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles.
A Skills Innovation Lab has been set up to accompany the Youth Entrepreneurship Network through its innovation journey. As part of the Lab’s activities, 25 trainers participated in an online course (in french) on the prevention of forced labour through lifelong learning and skills development approaches. At the end of the course, trainers were asked to reflect on the content of a six-day training for the economic empowerment of victims of forced labour and other vulnerable beneficiaries, including awareness raising on forced labour issues.

These two successful launches confirm the words of Srinivas Reddy, Chief of the ILO Skills and Employability Branch: “the Skills Challenge Innovation Calls are not as a one-off event, but rather as a first step to build a skills innovation ecosystem that supports great ideas and turn them into real and concrete solutions”.

Skills Challenge Innovation Call

The Skills Innovation Challenge Calls were organized as part of a global competition by Alliance 8.7 – a multi-stakeholder and inclusive global partnership committed to achieving SDG Target 8.7 – that called for all innovators passionate about bringing new ideas with social impact to develop innovative solutions that could support pathfinder countries to accelerate action for the achievement of SDG Target 8.7.
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